Rip Parker stood in the florescent-lit lobby of Park Cities Baptist Church on Thursday night and briefed his crew of 18. Outside, the sky was blue verging on black.
“I have to warn you: It’s not going to be milk-and-honey down there,” Mr. Parker said, his forehead creased with seriousness. “Men are down there because they do drugs or alcohol. It’s tough. Sometimes they get greedy and go back for more food. Sometimes they fight. Sometimes we have to call 911.”
The night’s volunteers were a varied bunch – children and adults, Baptists and Catholics. With furrowed brows and pursed lips, they took in his words like gospel, and with good reason.
If anyone knows the rules of the streets, it is this 64-year-old man with bright white hair and deep blue eyes who is known to many of Dallas’ homeless as “The Rev.”